By 1812Blockhouse

The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases, statewide and locally, was borne out in numbers released on Thursday by the Ohio Department of Health.

The result was that Richland County, for the very first time, joined those Ohio counties designated as “Purple,” or Level 4, under the State of Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System.

Across Ohio, 8,921 cases were reported in the previous 24 hours, the fifth highest reported single day increase since the pandemic began. This brings the state’s total to 446,849 individual COVID-19 cases. 6,753 Ohioans have now died, an increase of 82 since Wednesday.

Alarmingly, while the state’s hospitals are nearing capacity, the positive testing rate has reached 15%, something referred to as a “wake up call” by ODH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.

Summit, Portage, Stark, Medina, Montgomery, Lorain, and Lake Counties joined Richland at the “Purple” level, the highest possible status in terms of pandemic severity. Each county triggered all of the Advisory System’s indicators.

Richland County’s current levels, reported by the Ohio Department of Health and shared by Richland Public Health, can be viewed below.

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